President-elect Donald Trump has asserted that his upcoming administration's foreign policy emphasis will be on finishing off the Islamic State group (ISIS) while withdrawing from other foreign conflicts.
On Dec. 1, Trump described his plans for U.S. foreign policy during a post-election congratulatory rally in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The president-elect stated that while his administration would accelerate President Barack Obama's efforts to roll back and destroy ISIS, it would abstain from enforcing any regime changes abroad.
"We will destroy ISIS," Trump said, according to the Washington Examiner. "At the same time, we will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past. We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments, folks."
The business mogul added that his administration's goal would be "stability, not chaos because we wanna rebuild our country. It's time."
Withdrawing from global conflicts and placing special focus on domestic affairs was a recurring theme throughout Trump's presidential campaign. On Nov. 8, Trump had pledged to usher in a massive investment in U.S. infrastructure during his election victory speech.
"We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild or highways, bridges, tunnels, airports," Trump said, according to ABC News. "We're going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none."
Trump's pledge to resist regime change could have massive implications for the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. While President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had both called for Assad's ouster, Trump has said that he would work with the Syrian dictator and Russia to eradicate ISIS.
On Nov. 15, Assad described Trump as a potential ally in an interview with Portuguese media, The New York Times reports.
Assad stated that if Trump "fights the terrorists, it is clear that we will be a natural ally, together with the Russians, Iranians and many other countries who want to defeat the terrorists."
Foreign policy experts believe that the Trump administration is likely to collaborate with the Assad Regime and Russia to defeat ISIS and to reverse Obama's stance that Assad must step down from power. Former Pentagon official Michael G. Vickers believes that allowing the Assad regime to remain in power would only exacerbate chaos in the Middle East.
"You might win the battle against ISIS in Raqqa, but you can't win the overall counterterrorism war, and achieve a favorable balance in the Middle East, unless it's linked to addressing the civil war with Assad," Vickers said. "Aligning with Russia, and implicitly with Assad and the Iranians, would be a strategic blunder with our Sunni allies."